For a little while now Games Workshop have been offering a free miniature in store, as part of their Miniature of the Month promotion. Following up on the release of the Cadia Stands box, and some fresh new Astra Militarum, the latest miniature was an impressive refresh of the classic
meat shield Cadian Shock Trooper model.
As part of our regular friendly challenge, we each headed to a local Warhammer store to build and take home a model, and painted them to compare our different approaches.
Arron (AKA @ajb_minis)
I wasn’t planning to turn this lowly Cadian into a mini-diorama, but that’s certainly how it turned out.
I started this one by taking a look through my bits box for some inspiration – either some small parts for a conversion or some nice basing supplies. In the process I realised I had enough spare parts to make up an entire Space Marine, thanks to some spare legs from a Dark Angel Biker. Suddenly the ideas began flowing. I started thinking about the ‘story’ behind it, and how to keep the guardsman as a focal point. I eventually came up with the idea of a wounded Space Marine giving a command to a nearby guardsman, looking down in horror.
Painting for this one was quite simple. I’ve recently been busy painting up some super colourful additions to my AoS Soulblight Gravelords army for our Escalation League, so wanted to take a very different approach to this one. I opted for a zenithal base coat and used mostly Contrast paints, dirtying things up with washes and some Blood for the Blood God. Despite making the colours on this one fairly close to the official schemes, I couldn’t help but make the greens a little more vibrant by mixing in a little Aeldari Emerald.
The rest of the Handful of Dice team have voted to name this mini diorama “It was that big one over there”, which I think summarises the piece perfectly.
Ben (AKA @manyotterminis)
I’ve never been one for the grimdark war of the 41st millennium, but given a soldier to paint I thought I should make an effort to keep things military and totally in lore…
I started with a 90s inspired bright yellow camo that wouldn’t look out of place on a pair of Militant Commander Hammers parachute pants, or on the armour of the Biel-Aer homeworlds sub-reagent. I say it every month but I really love getting to cut loose with these models and go as wild as I like. I painted this whole trooper in a weekend, which doesn’t sound like a lot of painting but I was so excited about every detail. My desk ended up a complete mess but the model ended up fantastic.
It’s not the most exciting element but I really liked how the backpack ended up. I wanted to get a lot of clean edge highlights and different textures into that small space, and a lovely gradient from light to dark from the top to the bottom, and I think it’s really worked.
Enough tooting my own bugle though. I wasn’t excited about new space humans, but I was pleasantly surprised and had a ton of fun.
Niall (AKA @nb_minis)
I was super keen to get my hands on the mini of the month this time around, as seeing the new Cadian releases has got me inspired to revisit my teenage imperial forces. I’ve got a box of the now-old Cadians, a squad of metal Kasrkins and a Chimera that I’ve earmarked for a small force, and wanted to figure out a cohesive scheme for. The mini of the month seemed like the perfect chance to work out a scheme whilst also getting to see how the new sculpts held up.
What I was looking for mainly was a repeatable scheme that wouldn’t get me bogged down with details, that could be easily batch painted and preferably had as few steps as possible, because I never claim to be a particularly high effort painter. I did want to push the boat out with the base and improve on the recipe I used on my Leagues of Votann mini of the month a little while ago.
I started by spraying everything with Grey Seer, before picking out the armour, gun and a couple other key details in Imperial Fist Yellow. The details I felt were less important; grenades, straps, pouches and the rest of the gun, all got a coating of Black Templar. The face and arms got a pass with some Guilliman Flesh. All the rest of the mini got left grey. Once it was dry, I gave the whole model a generous coating of Agrax Earthshade. This tied everything together, lessening the contrast between the yellow and grey, and also hid any spots missed by the rest of the scheme. The whole model was done super quickly, including the time spent working out the scheme, which was bang on what I wanted. I’m also really pleased with the results, which kind of feels to me like a WW1 khaki uniform with a space aged twist.
My base was a lot more involved. I wanted to give the impression of a soldier patrolling an ice world and taking the first step from snow to the ice sheet. S started with a coat of Space Wolves Grey over the Grey Seer base, followed by a spread of Valhallan Blizzard – including a footprint. Then I gave everything a rough highlight of very medium-ed Fenrisian Grey, and even more medium-ed Soulstone Blue (more of a wash). This actually went too far on the snow and ruined the effect, so the snow then got a dry brush of White Scar, and I added some White Scar lines to the ice section too. I finished off with a hefty covering of ‘ardcoat for the ice to get the real icy effect.
I’m overall really pleased with the final product. I developed my ice base recipe nicely and feel it now gives off the impression of that slushy snow near the edge of ice. I’ve also got a simple, effective scheme for the rest of the Astra Militarum I’ve earmarked for this little project.
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